Defenders and their survival strategies.

When we get traumas during our childhood, the pain is often too much to bear and we split. We put the wounded parts deep in our unconscious and we develop a defender that performs the desired behavior, or that imitates the behavior of our parents. Like when a child gets punished or shamed for being needy, it develops a defender that is independent, that doesn’t need anybody or anything.

Those defenders together form our ego. It is a structure that is made of fear and shame.

So even if those defenders in us represent ‘good ‘qualities – like independence, or hard working, or being very empathic and loving- they don’t really serve anyone deeply. And they especially don’t serve ourselves, because they are all expressions of fear. They are trying to control the behavior of people around them, like being sweet so nobody yells at them, or working hard so people appreciate them. They are survival strategies.

Most people spend their entire life perfecting these defenders, trying to become ‘good enough’. For some of us it becomes too painful and we end up on a spiritual journey to find God.

God in this context is always the parts that are underneath the defenders. Those are the parts that we had to abandon to survive. Those are the not so pretty parts, like shame and neediness and jealousy and desperation.

This spiritual path is a journey of finding ourselves. We are already one with God, we are already whole, but we have pushed parts of ourselves away, thinking they are unworthy of being a part of the One. So, the journey is an inward journey of learning to love those parts of God that we abandoned.

It is a difficult journey because the feelings that are repressed are usually very intense. We become the one-year-old again and we have to feel the feelings that we couldn’t allow ourselves to feel before. Apart from that, we have to face the feeling of the split, the moment we had to abandon that part, which can feel terrifying because it feels like dying.

The more we get in contact with those feelings, the more we realize the innocence of those parts. And the more we feel like taking care of those parts. We realize the mistaken believes that we took on, like ‘it is bad to be angry’ or ‘I am not lovable.’

When we accept those parts as our responsibility, our little ones, we are ready to share them with other people. We ‘admit’ to having them and burn the shame of not being as we pretended to be. This is a very important stage because it shows the parts in ourselves that we are not hiding them anymore. That we stand behind them no matter what.

From that moment on we are not alone anymore because we don’t leave ourselves.

So, the journey is one of authenticity. We definitely become more human, more weird, often more dysfunctional in societies standards. But man, do we become more beautiful and real and loving. The more we love ourselves, the more we can love others. The more we address our shame, the more we can be emphatic and understanding to others. And we can finally be out of the way to let God serve through us.

~The way to get in contact with our young parts is through the felt sense. Getting out of the mind, into the feel of the body, the present moment. I can guide you into that journey. ~